Mark It On Your Calendar
The end of the Stanley Cup Final sets in motion a whirlwind of activity. Over the next month, teams will be exceptionally busy, not only with the headlining duo of the draft and free agency, but also the lesser-tracked but no less important offseason rituals of buyouts, qualifying offers, arbitration hearings and more.
- Friday, June 15: The first, and for some teams the only, buyout period of the offseason begins. Players age 26 and older can be bought out for 2⁄3 of the remaining salary; players 25 and younger can be bought out for 1⁄3 of their salary. Signing bonuses are paid in full and do not factor into buyout discount amounts. Also, June 15 at 5:00 p.m. is the end of the first window for club-elected salary arbitration, although most teams do not use this window, preferring to wait for the second one in early July.
- Week of June 18: At some point this week the NHL will announce the official amount of the salary cap for the 2018-19 season. Gary Bettman said at his state of the league press conference prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final that the cap would come in at somewhere between $78 million and $82 million, and the NHLPA will determine the final amount by deciding how much, if any, of the 5% inflator they will put into next season’s cap.
- Wednesday, June 20, 8:00 p.m.: As if the NHL hadn’t seen enough of Vegas in the past month, they’ll all be trekking back for the NHL Awards.
- Thursday, June 21: If previous years are any indication, the 2018-19 NHL schedule will be released this day, presumably with the home openers for each team announced the day before.
- Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23: The NHL Draft takes place in Dallas. It seems increasingly unlikely we will be able to attend this year, but we’ll still have you covered from all angles throughout the weekend.
- Sunday, June 24, 12:01 a.m.: The UFA “interview period” begins, where pending unrestricted free agents may speak to teams that do not hold their rights. However, they may not sign a contract until July 1.
- Monday, June 25, 5:00 p.m.: Teams must tender a qualifying offer to their restricted free agents by this deadline to keep their RFA rights. Any potential RFAs that do not receive a qualifying offer immediately become a UFA (and do not have to wait until July 1). The Hurricanes have ten RFAs: Phil Di Giuseppe*, Elias Lindholm*, Joakim Nordstrom*, Trevor van Riemsdyk*, Noah Hanifin, Greg McKegg*, Tyler Ganly, Keegan Kanzig, Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov. (Players with an asterisk are eligible for arbitration.)
- Tuesday, June 26, 12:01 a.m.: The RFA “interview period” begins. Qualified RFAs may discuss offer sheets with other teams, but may not sign until July 1.
- June 27, 28, 30: The Canes’ prospect camp takes place at PNC with open practices Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30 plus the annual prospect scrimmage Saturday at noon.
- Saturday, June 30, 5:00 p.m.: The buyout window that opened on June 15 closes.
- Sunday, July 1, noon: Free agency opens! Huzzah!
- Thursday, July 5, 5:00 p.m.: Players who elect to take their team to arbitration must notify the league by this deadline. Immediately after, and through Friday, July 6 at 5:00 p.m., the second club window for arbitration opens. Hearings will begin around July 20 or so, but most cases are settled before they get to a hearing.
- Sunday, July 15, 5:00 p.m.: Qualifying offers automatically expire and are no longer considered bona fide contract offers, but teams that submitted qualifying offers retain RFA rights on those players after this deadline.
- Wednesday, August 15, 5:00 p.m.: Any college-drafted player who has left school must sign by this deadline. Unsigned college players who are not returning to school after this date become unrestricted free agents. (The Hurricanes do not have any players facing this deadline.)
- Speaking of prospect camp, it will be part of Summerfest, which takes place June 24-30 this year. [Hurricanes]
- Things changed in a significant - and good - way when the Canes won the second pick in the draft. [Hurricanes]
- Jared Staal has been named an assistant coach for the Okanagan Hockey Academy-Edmonton for the 2018-19 season. [Okanagan, and the photo used looked familiar to one member of our staff]
- Both the tweet and the article are worth reading:
On the night Alex Ovechkin reached a pinnacle both professionally and personally, I followed him around the ice to see what a dream realized looked like: https://t.co/gu0oZDbqc4— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 11, 2018
- A thank you and a congratulations from David Poile to a few of his former staff members who just reached the pinnacle of their careers. [Predators]
- A deep dive into how the Capitals rebounded from being one loss away from major changes to winning their first Stanley Cup. It’s long, but well worth reading. [Washington Post]
- I texted Greg Wyshynski after I read this story, telling him it might have been the best piece of sports writing I have read in a long time. I read it again yesterday and stand by that characterization: on how the moments of Alex Ovechkin’s career were all necessary parts of his road to a championship. [ESPN]
- The potential impact of a black player named Devante Malik Smith-Pelly winning the Stanley Cup could be huge in growing the game in a city where people of color comprise more than half the population. [The Undefeated]